Whole Foods was once the premier destination for organic and natural items. When traditional grocers such as Kroger began to offer similar products, shoppers no longer had to make multiple stops to stock up on healthy offerings. Large competitors such as Costco, Walmart, and Target, followed suit and expanded their organic offerings. Costco’s sales were boosted as they started replacing existing SKUs throughout the store with organic, higher priced ones. Eager to compete and shed its reputation of “Whole Paycheck”, Whole Foods introduced their value priced Everyday 365 brand. While successful in increasing basket size, they were not attracting new customers from traditional grocers, and price matching hurt their margins. The problems experienced by Whole Foods soon spread to other natural grocers like The Fresh Market and Sprouts Farmers Market. The volume of organic items being offered through mainstream grocery stores shows no sign of slowing down.
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Data sourced from monthly Verbatim datasets in 2013